Stretch Marks

Woman on a poolside with smooth skin wearing swimsuit
Stretch marks, otherwise known as striae distensae, are discolored scars found on the skin. They are caused by shearing forces or tearing of the deeper skin layers and are generally permanent. Depending on one’s skin type and the age of the scar, they can appear brown, white, or red. Stretch marks often begin red, lead to brown, and subsequently lose pigmentation totally. Depending on their severity, they can develop textural abnormalities that appear like cigarette paper.

Stretch marks generally result from rapid stretching of the skin. This is typically associated with pregnancy, rapid growth spurts, weight gain, muscle building, severe hormonal fluctuations and/or abuse of drugs, such as topical or oral steroids that weaken the skin.

Treatment for Stretch Marks

Common areas for developing stretch marks are the abdomen, the breasts, inner upper arms, thighs, hips and buttocks. They pose no health threat but are cosmetically unappealing.

To date, topical therapy has proven to be ineffective, despite the availability and marketing of products. Currently, there are four treatments used for stretch marks at our office: Fraxel Restore, energy-delivered microneedling, Vbeam laser treatment, and PICO laser treatment.

Stretch Mark Removal (Red Stretch Marks) Before and After
instagram stretch marks

Fraxel Treatment for Stretch Marks

More recently, non-ablative fractional laser resurfacing, or Fraxel Restore, improves white or brown stretch marks without risk to the skin*. This laser treatment smooths out the texture of stretch marks. In only 4-5 treatments, dramatic improvement can be made*.

Energy-Delivered Microneedling for Stretch Marks

Energy-delivered microneedling is an effective method of tightening the skin and smoothing away stretch marks. At our office, we provide state-of-the-art VirtueRF, Vivace, and Morpheus8 RF microneedling.

These treatment modalities combine microneedling with application of radiofrequency energy for enhanced results. The tiny microneedles create microinjuries in the skin tissues, stimulating new collagen and elastin protein production. RF energy boosts this process, restoring skin health and structure over time. This makes stretch marks gradually fade.

Vbeam Treatment for Stretch Marks

When stretch marks are red and relatively new, the VBeam pulsed-dye laser can reduce the redness, improve the texture, and slow down the scar’s progression in its tracks*. The energy from this laser locks onto broken capillaries to restore natural skin color. At the same time, it encourages collagen protein production to heal and strengthen the skin.

PICO Laser Treatment for Stretch Marks

To address pigmented stretch marks, it is often best to utilize the PICO Genesis laser. The energy of this precise laser breaks down unwanted skin pigmentation while restoring skin texture and tone.

How Much Does Stretch Mark Removal Cost?

The cost of stretch mark removal is dependent upon several factors. The exact treatment modality chosen can impact the overall price, as can the number of treatment sessions required to achieve optimal results.


What makes you a candidate for laser stretch mark removal vs. Micro-needling or "scar camouflage?"

I tend to use micro-needling treatments on laser resistant stretch marks. Particularly, old white ones or people with darker skin who may not be responsive to lasers.

How quickly can you see results after stretch marks removal treatment?

No matter what we do, whether it’s microneedling, camouflage, or laser, you should see a difference after the first treatment, but it’s rare for it to take just one treatment. Typically, multiple treatments are needed.

Are there any side effects from the lasers that you use for stretch marks removal?

Yes, there’s always potential side effects for any cosmetic treatment. Side affects vary based on the severity of the stretch marks and the treatment being used.

What is recovery like for a stretch marks removal treatment?

All of the treatments generally take a few days of recovery. You will have to keep it out of the sun for about 3-5 days.

How far apart are the stretch marks removal treatment sessions?

I generally say treatments should be done monthly. We’d love to be able to stack them and get them done quicker, but it does take time to see the end result. If you want to look good in the summer I suggest you start treatments in the winter.

What is the hardest area on the body to treat for stretch marks removal?

I would say the inner thighs are the hardest and sometimes the buttocks. Surprisingly easy areas to treat that are super comfortable are the breasts, the back of the knees. Majority of patients treat their stomach and the outer thighs.

What’s the pain like for stretch marks removal treatment?

Most treatments are annoying, but tolerable. There’s no cosmetic treatment that should be torture and your doctor or provider should always properly anestezie you prior to beginning treatment.

How many sessions does it take to completely remove my stretch marks?

It’s always a minimum of 2-3 but there are patients that need 8-10. It really depends on the severity, the skin type, what device, what combos, that’s why you really have to have it mapped out by your doctor.

What if the skin is wrinkly on the abdomen with stretch marks?

This is where I really like to utilize energy delivered microneedling. It really helps the stretch marks in addition to tightening crepey skin.

Can you do anything about stretch marks on breasts once they are white?

Yes, they actually respond beautifully. Particularly with white stretch marks, they tend to take the fewest amount treatments.

Can a 15 year old get stretch marks removal treatment or do you recommend waiting?

A lot of young adults and young patients, as young as 10-11 years old, get treatment. I treat very young patients because you’re going to get the best result by catching it early when the tissue is inflamed.

Do stretch marks completely fade away from this treatment?

In the best cases, yes. I can get rid of 100% of the stretch marks. I’m sometimes shocked the results. I aim to get anywhere from a 70-90% improvement.

Schedule Your Consultation

To get started with removal of stretch marks in NYC, contact our office and set up an informative consultation. Take the first step towards restoring your smooth skin and contact the PFRANKMD team today to schedule your complimentary consultation today at (212) 327-2919.